Jack London’s South Seas photos on display at Branigan

Jack Londons photography
Famed novelist Jack London’s photography is on exhibit at the Branigan Cultural Center. Courtesy photos.
Explore the South Pacific during the early 20th century through the exhibition of novelist Jack London’s photographs, curated by the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Jack London, Photographer: Adventures in the Pacific opens in the Branigan Cultural Center on Friday, March 3, with a First Friday Ramble reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibit will run through June 17.

Noted novelist Jack London traveled widely and was a prolific photographer. London’s novels and short stories were inspired by the people and environments he encountered on his journeys. This traveling exhibition includes images from London’s journey on the Snark, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and the Russo-Japanese war. London’s photographs are in the collections of California State Parks and the Huntington Library.

History Talk at Branigan Cultural Center
Dr. Jamie Bronstein will present a lecture entitled “Ladies, Have You Heard?: The Strange History of the Equal Rights Amendment in New Mexico” Thursday, March 9, at 1 p.m. at the Branigan Cultural Center.

During her research on New Mexico history, Dr. Bronstein came upon a collection of telegrams in the governor’s papers from the archive up in Santa Fe. They were from women in 1972 and demanded a reform of New Mexico’s community property laws. Following up on her discovery, she found that there had been many requests for the reformation of the community property laws for many decades.

Her lecture will focus on the creation of New Mexico’s ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment of 1972 and its own state equal rights amendment. The talk will also focus on how the equal rights movement was nearly derailed by a backlash of conservative women in the state on New Mexico, and the anti-ERA movement being transplanted from Texas to New Mexico.

Dr. Bronstein has been teaching at NMSU since graduating from Stanford University in 1996. She is the author of numerous articles and of five books: Land Reform and Working-Class Experience in Britain and the United States, 1800-1862 (Stanford, 1999); Caught in the Machinery: Workplace Accidents and Injured Workers in 19th-century Britain (Stanford, 2008); Transatlantic Radical: John Francis Bray (Merlin, 2009); with Andrew Harris, Empire, State and Society: Modern Britain, 1830-present (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013); and Two Nations, Indivisible: A History of American Inequality (Prager, 2016). This most recent book chronicles the persistent history of social inequality in the United States from the American Revolution to the present.

Art workshops at Musum of Art and Branigan
The Las Cruces museums will be hosting art workshops at both the Branigan Cultural Center, 501 N. Main St., and Museum of Art, 491 N. Main St., from 10 a.m. to noon every Saturday in March.

The Branigan Cultural Center presents the family program Culture Club with the following schedule:

March 4: Cherry blossom art. Cherry blossoms are a symbolic flower in Japan. Come learn their symbolism and create your own cherry blossom using soda bottles to stamp out the pattern of the beautiful pink flowers.

March 11: It’s (almost!) Pi Day. Visitors will create a “pi-line skyline” by graphing pi digits into a bar graph, and then coloring in the background to create a landscape. We will also be doing “pi-kus,” a take on the traditional Japanese poems haikus.

March 18: Japanese Lanterns. Japanese lanterns are a significant part of Japanese culture, seen everywhere in temples, restaurants, and festivals. Participants will create paper lanterns to hang in their own home.

March 25: Archaeology Day. In concurrence with Archaeology Day, visitors will be given the chance to learn and try and decode hieroglyphics.

Reading Art Book Club
The Las Cruces Museum of Art’s monthly Reading Art Book Club will host an open, group discussion on the book The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece by Edward Dolnick on Wednesday, March 8, at 2:30 p.m. in the Museum of Nature and Science classroom.

The little-known world of art theft is compellingly portrayed in Dolnick’s account of the 1994 theft and recovery of Edvard Munch’s iconic painting The Scream. The theft was carried out with almost comical ease at Norway’s National Gallery in Oslo on the very morning that the Winter Olympics began in that city. Despite the low-tech nature of the crime, the local police were baffled, and Dolnick makes a convincing case that the fortunate resolution of the investigation was almost exclusively due to the expertise, ingenuity and daring of the “rescue artist” of the title: Charley Hill, a Scotland Yard undercover officer and former Fulbright scholar who has made recovering stolen art treasures his life’s work.

To jump start the discussion, the Museum of Art will show the documentary Art of the Heist: The Search for the Scream at 1:30 p.m.

Reading Art Book Club meetings are free and open to the public. Visitors to the club are welcome even if they have not read the book. For more information or for details on book selections, contact Stephanie Abdon at 541-2217 or e-mail sabdon@lascruces.org.

History of New Mexico’s national parks
New Mexico Graduate Department of History students Alyssa Brillante, Christina Montero, Heidi Iverson, and Joseph Seagrove will give presentations about New Mexico’s national parks and the history and stories behind them from 10 a.m. to noon March 11, at the Branigan Cultural Center, 501 N. Main St.

Alyssa Brillante’s love of history and national parks began in her childhood. Every summer her family would visit national parks and learn about their history and the history of the surrounding area. Living in New Mexico most of her life allowed her the opportunity to explore the treasures of New Mexico. She is currently working on her graduate project with other graduate students, which will bring the national parks of New Mexico to students, their families, and the public.

Christina Montero was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Her interests are Spanish colonialism in the New World, including the use of missions, Texas/Tejano history, National Park Service, public history, and genealogy. Currently, she is working on understanding the relation between the Hispanic population and genealogy, while also trying to increase the interest of doing genealogy.

Heidi Iverson’s interest in the national parks grew after the celebration of the National Park Services centennial this past August. Through research at New Mexico State, she has learned about the history of the National Park Service, and many unknown stories of national parks in New Mexico. She is currently working on a publication focused on the national parks in New Mexico as her graduate final project. Through this publication, she plans to engage students, their families, and the public with what the national parks offer.

Joseph Seagrove spent eight years teaching high school social studies in El Paso, Texas after receiving his BA in history from NMSU. During his tenure, he independently created and implemented several new courses at his campus. An Eagle Scout, Seagrove is passionate about preserving the environment, particularly our national parks. He has recently contributed research to an ongoing project examining the national park system in New Mexico.

Artrageous at Museum of Art
The Museum of Art hosts the informal, interdisciplinary workshop Artrageous. Participants will have a chance to indulge their creativity while creating a project to take home. The theme for Artrageous in March is “Springtime” and here are the topics:

March 4: Refrigerator Magnet Vase
March 11: Paper Flowers
March 18: Flower Pencil Topper, inspired by the ReTooled exhibition
March 25: Plantable Paper

Women’s History Month at Railroad Museum
March is National Women’s History month. The Las Cruces Railroad Museum will celebrate some of the important contributions women have made to the development of the railroad. Throughout the month, the museum will be hosting a series of mini exhibits featuring different women; from fashion to photos, there is something for everyone!

The first mini exhibit, “Harvey Girls Clothing,” runs March 1 through April 1. The Harvey Girls civilized the railroad experience for train passengers, settling the frontier towns as they moved west. Learn about who these women were and what they wore in the 1880s.

The second mini exhibit, “Railway Women Today,” features written interviews with contemporary Amtrak employees and runs March 18 through April 1. Meet some of the women who keep the trains running smoothly today.

“WWII Pioneers,” the final mini exhibit, will run March 25 through April 8. With men fighting overseas during WWII, women stepped up to fill empty jobs on the railroads. Learn about the trails these women blazed and the kind of work they did.

The highlight of the “Women on the Rails” March exhibits will be the Brown Bag Lecture at noon, March 14. Local railroad pioneer Christine Aldeis will be giving a talk on her experience as the first female engineer, not only for the Santa Fe Railroad, but in the entire United States.

Admission to the Railroad Museum is free. The museum is located at 351 N. Mesilla St. and is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit the website at: museums.las-cruces.org or call at 647-4480.

Needle punch embroidery workshop
The Las Cruces Railroad Museum will host a two-part needle punch embroidery workshop that will introduce participants to the technique and allow time for practice before beginning on a mini masterpiece.

The first session will be from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, March 29, when participants will learn the punching technique and practice on a small swatch of fabric.

The second session will be from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, April 5, when participants will begin creating their mini masterpiece.

Class size is limited to six participants, ages 15 and up. Cost is $10. All supplies will be provided, but participants may bring their own sewing scissors and a bottle of inexpensive clear nail polish.

During the Victorian Era, women created many beautiful items for their homes using a variety of needlecraft techniques. One of these was needle punch embroidery, a fun and easy-to-learn craft. Needle punch embroidery has been used to decorate clothing and for decoration since the ancient Egyptians, and was used extensively by the Russians in the 17th century. It regained popularity during the Victorian Era when home decorating trends leaned towards embellishing everything.

Try your hand at this fascinating craft and take home a creation suitable for framing. Once you’ve learned the technique, you will be able to create many items for your home, from bookmarks, to throw pillows, to wall hangings.

Students must register in person at the Museum of Nature and Science, 411 North Main St., by Saturday, March 25.

Branigan accepting exhibit proposals
Branigan Cultural Center seeks proposals for exhibits with themes of cultural and historical significance relating to the Southwest to be presented in 2018. Submissions will be accepted from artists (solo and group), formal and informal scholars, and cultural heritage organizations.

To apply, complete the form at surveymonkey.com/r/LCMS2017. Proposals must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, April 7, 2017. Applications must include a brief (one to four paragraphs) narrative, should include artist(s) statement or group’s mission, five to 10 JPG images of proposed work (or those of similar style and quality), and linear and/or square footage needs. Exhibits will run for a six- to 12-week period. Incomplete or late proposals will not be accepted.

For more information, go to the website lascruces.org/museums or call 541-2154. The Branigan Cultural Center is located at 501 N. Main St. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Admission to the City of Las Cruces museums is free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit the website at: museums.las-cruces.org. If you need an accommodation for a disability to enable you to fully participate in a museum event, contact the host museum 48 hours prior to the event.